F1 cockpit protection system delayed until 2018

Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:22pm EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

HOCKENHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - Formula One has decided to delay the introduction of a proposed cockpit-protection device by one year, deciding to develop it further before adopting some form of the concept for 2018.

The key players in the sport's strategy group met in Geneva on Thursday to vote on the adoption for 2017 of the ‘halo’ head protection device, which is fixed to the cockpit at three points, including a central pillar right in front of the driver.

The strategy body, made up of representatives of the top teams, the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) and commercial rights holder Formula One Management, unanimously agreed to push back the introduction of such a device.

“It was decided that owing to the relatively short timeframe until the commencement of the 2017 Formula One season it would be prudent to use the remainder of this year and early next year to further evaluate the full potential of all options before final confirmation,” the FIA said in a statement.

It added that this would include testing the halo, which remained the preferred concept, on track in practice sessions.

However, the FIA said that if a different system offering better protection was developed then that would be adopted.

The strategy group’s decision to delay introducing a head protection device is unlikely to go down well with the drivers.